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Sunday, June 26, 2022

Hyderabad gangrape: AIMIM MLA’s son finally arrested; Congress says police hiding vital information

After dragging their feet for many days, Telangana Police finally arrested the minor son of an AIMIM MLA as the sixth accused in the gangrape case. Earlier, police had maintained that the MLA’s son was not involved. But after BJP MLA Raghunandan Rao, who is also a lawyer, held a press conference where he shared a video showing the 6th accused force himself on the victim (the clips had been circulated on social media by the perpetrators themselves), police had to take action.

After dragging their feet for many days, Telangana Police finally arrested the minor son of an AIMIM MLA as the sixth accused in the gangrape case. Earlier, police had maintained that the MLA’s son was not involved. But after BJP MLA Raghunandan Rao, who is also a lawyer, held a press conference where he shared a video showing the 6th accused force himself on the victim (the clips had been circulated on social media by the perpetrators themselves), police had to take action.

Although Rao maintains that he took precautions to not reveal the identity of the victim, police has booked him under Section 228 A of IPC for ‘revealing sexual assault victim identity’. Hyderabad Police Commissioner CV Anand admitted that they came to know of the AIMIM MLA’s son’s involvement in the initial sexual assault on the girl only after the video and photos released by the BJP leader. This is an astonishing admission, given that those clips are believed to have been widely available on social media.

The minor victim was taken from a pub, where she had come for an afternoon party on May 28 as part of a large group of students (mostly from class 11 and 12). The pub had been booked by around 100 minors for upto ₹ 900 per head in the name of one Osman Ali Khan. The girl left the pub at 5.40 PM with 4 juveniles in a red Mercedes for a cafe/bakery, from where she was switched to an Innova (on govt duty). She was initially molested by the AIMIM MLA’s son in the Mercedes, but he allegedly got down from the Innova before the gang-rape took place on Road number 44 behind Pedamma temple.

Apart the AIMIM MLA’s son and relative, the other juvenile accused include the son of a TRS leader who heads the Waqf Board, the son of another TRS leader, and the son of a corporator from the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation.

Saaduddin Malik (18) is reportedly the only adult accused. Earlier the relative of the AIMIM MLA was also thought to be 18-years-old, but police now claim he is ‘one month short’ of being 18.

Key accused Saaduddin Malik, in the horrific Hyderabad gangrape

There have also been reports that the accused’s families tried to reach out to the victim’s family to hush up the matter. The Innova car that was used in the gangrape was found in a TRS leader’s farmhouse and had been cleaned after the assault to eliminate forensic evidence.

Producing age certificates to prove ‘minor’ status is no big deal in a country where even ordinary illegal Bangladeshi immigrants manage to procure Aadhar and other IDs. However, given that anyone above the age of 16 can be treated as an adult if he or she has commissioned a heinous crime, one hopes that all the juveniles in this case also get the harshest punishment possible.

Congress says police hiding vital information

Telangana’s opposition Congress on Wednesday alleged that Hyderabad police are hiding vital information in the Jubilee Hills gang rape case.

State Congress chief A. Revanth Reddy wondered why the police have not revealed names of the owners of the Innova and Mercedes cars used by the accused, asking Hyderabad Police Commissioner C. V. Anand as to why he was trying to shield the owners of the two vehicles.

Describing the two vehicles as key evidence in the case, he wondered why the police did not call their owners though it has been established that minors were driving the vehicles.

Reddy pointed out that as per Section 133 of the Motor Vehicle Act, when minors found driving the vehicles, notices have to be issued to the owners, they have to be summoned to the police station and cases have to be filed.

He pointed out that the Police Commissioner told the media persons that after the Mercedes reached the bakery, the accused with the victim left in the Innova.

The Congress leader said the Police Commissioner revealed before the media the sequence of events that happened from May 20 till the incident happened on May 28, but nothing as to what happened after it, where the vehicles were taken, and what was the action taken against the owners.

Reddy said there are allegations against the families of the Wakf Board Chairman who is appointed by the Chief Minister and the MLA of MIM whose leader Asaduddin Owaisi reacts to every small incident that happens at national or international level.

Claiming that the TRS and the MIM together are running the government, he said: “They are partners in alliance, elections and government and finally they have become partners in rapes and murders.”

Reddy said the owners of the cars should also be booked under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

He said when the police admitted that the Innova vehicle is a government vehicle and the gang rape happened in this vehicle, why it was not revealing who is its owner. “When the government vehicle was used for anti-social activities, why are the police hiding the information about the vehicle,” he asked.

He said the police should come out with details like where the Innova was kept for seven days after the gang rape. He alleged that the government sticker was removed from the vehicle and the evidence was tampered with. He said police did not even reveal where the Innova was seized.

Meanwhile, women leaders of Congress party staged a silent protest at party headquarters Gandhi Bhavan against the increasing incidents of rapes.

Later, a delegation of party leaders ,led by the Mahila Congress acting President Netta D’Souza met Director General of Police M. Mahender Reddy, and sought strict action against the accused irrespective of their influential background. The delegation demanded that there should be fair investigation in the case and the police should not come under pressure from any quarters.

(With IANS inputs)

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